The orchestra had its inaugural course in April of this year. I was both cello and bass tutor and photographer. The course a huge success, the first event of its kind in the region. I remember from my own youth orchestra experience, in Merseyside, just how important it was for me both musically and socially. The first of two concerts was in Emirates Palace (on the front page) What an amazing hall. For some of these youngsters it will have been their first ever chance to play in a full symphony orchestra. Their first orchestral concert in such an important hall must have been a truly unforgettable experience.
To view photographs of the Youth Orchestra of the Middle East, visit the 'sales' galleries.
The larger island of Reunion is only 100 miles from Mauritius but couldn't be more different in every way. Mauritus,the architypal holiday paradise, is full of luxury resorts and much of the coastline is surrounded by coral reef and white sandy beaches while Reunion is the result of three volcanos. Two dormant and one still active ! Reunion is a French Departement and as such has the feel of being in a very hot France ! Croissants and Pains aux Chocolats for breakfast, and fresh baguettes at the local patisserie. It is possible to cross Mauritius by road but in Reunion, the centre of the Island are the moutain peaks and craters of the volcanos so all travel is conducted round the outskirts of the Island.